I would like to thank Gabe Chodorow-Reich, Sarah Gilman, Keyvan Kashkooli, Kate Krontiris and Rachel Sullivan for valuable research assistance. I am also grateful to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP), and the University of California at Berkeley's Committee on Research, Center for African Studies, and Center for Health Research for supporting this research. An earlier version of this paper was presented at Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, 14–17 Aug. 2004.
Syncretism and subversion in AIDS governance: how locals cope with global demands
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2006
Volume 82, Issue 2, pages 269–284, March 2006
How to Cite
SWIDLER, A. (2006), Syncretism and subversion in AIDS governance: how locals cope with global demands. International Affairs, 82: 269–284. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2006.00530.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2006
This article raises a set of theoretical questions about culture and governance in organizational responses to AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on material from two visits to sub-Saharan Africa (Botswana in July 2003 and Malawi in June and July of 2004): interviews with government officials, international organization representatives and staff from AIDS NGOs across a variety of settings in sub-Saharan governance. The article examines the relation of AIDS governance to existing patterns of African governance and argues that while ‘institutional isomorphism’ can be imposed by international funders, such efforts often produce paradoxical outcomes on the ground. It seeks to understand why the intersection between the organizational models proffered by AIDS NGOs and existing patterns of authority and cooperation produce either syncretism, subversion, or simply a standoff.